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Love crappy movies but are too ashamed to admit it? Are you a big Rob Schneider fan but you're tired of being burned? Not sure if you want to waste your money on the same old movie? That's why you have Joe.

Joe Loves Crappy Movies is by Joseph Dunn. Joe willingly goes to see the very worst that Hollywood has to offer. Whenever a crappy movie comes out Joe will be there to see it, make fun of it, and actually review it. Nothing is safe, and nothing is sacred. From the big budget action disasters to the low brow fart based comedies, to anything starring Martin Lawrence? Joe will tear it apart.

With each entry you'll get not only a comic poking fun at the movie, but also a detailed review. Joe's not educated in film or cinematography or acting, he's just a guy that draws comics and likes movies. So if you're looking for the everyman perspective and a little joke in comic form... you're in the right place.

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Eragon

Released: 12/15/06

Viewed: 11:59 pm 12/14/06

Starring: Edward Speleers, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Guillory, Robert Carlyle, John Malkovich, Garrett Hedlund, Djimon Hounsou, Rachel Weisz

Directed by: Stefan Fangmeier

Twentieth Century Fox - Official Site of the Movie

Have you ever seen Star Wars? Ok, now take away the “in a galaxy far far away.” There. I just save you 10 bucks. Ok, it’s not THAT much of a rip off of one of the most classic fantasies of our generation, but close enough. Still, Eragon does have something to offer as the next potential blockbusting franchise to rise up from the breeding ground of children’s literature. Good effects, some good ideas, and special effects that can make a man riding a dragon halfway believable. But while I enjoyed some of it’s unique ideas on magic and it’s grand finale battle, for the most part I was bored and under whelmed with Eragon. Worse franchises have had stronger beginnings.

There’s nothing obviously wrong with the film but I found myself a little uninterested in it’s development. Possibly because it’s too focused on no more than the 3 main characters and little else is able to develop besides them. Eragon has a large sprawling cast of talented people but the bulk of them show up only briefly to move the story along, and then slip into the background as quickly as they appeared.

The star of this movie is a boy and his dragon. Rather a boy and his special effects department. The boy, a new comer named Edward Speleers, looks like the most rough and tough cupie doll you’ve ever seen. He plays the title role as well if not better than any other fantasy legends that first tackled their legendary characters. Remember Daniel Radcliff in The Sorcerer’s Stone. Yikes. But he grew into that role well, and I think Speleers could see similar development.

The special effects department obviously isn’t a group of new comers creating some really sharp visuals. Their biggest challenge clearly was the dragon Saphira who is on screen more than most of the forgotten supporting characters, love interests and high lords. She looks good, a bit out of place sometimes, but convincing enough to not distract you.

Their work really shines in a larger than life dragon battel that floored me completely. Fast and exciting and the only real element of danger in the entire film. And as busy as it is, you can still tell what’s going on the whole time. In recent years a replacement for actually shooting a beautiful fight scene has been to combine choreography and a shaky camera. I’d much rather see a weak punch than not be able to see a great one. The dragon duel in Eragon is hard hitting and clear as day. The best of both worlds.

It’s impossible not to compare Eragon to the movies in its genre that came before it. I think every fantasy movie will forever be trying to live up to Lord of the Rings but its hard R rating (EDIT: Wow, got lots of e-mails about the correct rating, which is PG-13. I’m shocked because this trilogy is super violent. If anything it’s even worse for these other films because LotR showed them what they could get away with and none are coming close to their violent potential. Not that violence is necessary for a good movie but for the target audience these films have – it couldn’t hurt.) and big time budget were used with such skill by Jackson and crew, that none of these PG-13 pretenders could ever come close. The Harry Potter franchise at least has it’s own spin on things being set in modern day and introducing a school atmosphere. It presents a world of fantasy that’s easier for us to step in o. Same thing with Narnia which had an interesting premise in its own right, but almost a smug sense of self satisfaction that turned me off to the movie after being somewhat impressed by it last Christmas.

Eragon rests somewhere between the worst Potter film and Narnia. It has some nice ideas and the potential for a fun world of make believe, but as is, it’s far too underdeveloped. Which brings us to the sequels.

Eragon was of coursed engineered to be the next big fantasy movie franchise, and part of the reason it was chosen for that was because the book it’s based on already has a huge following, and sequels. So the material and the ticket sales come built in to this property. I’m fine with constructing a franchise but this first installment is not grand enough of an adventure to be the basis of much of anything. Think about the best franchises of all, and now think about their introductory films. A New Hope, The Curse of the Black Pearl, The Matrix, Radiers of the Lost arc, Back to the Future, Fellowship of the Ring… all of them - brilliant movies in their own right that create excitement not just on what’s to come, but also what’s actually going on. And even though dragon fights awaken the deepest nerd impulses I have, Eragon falls short from being an epic beginning to anything.

As to why it falls short, in part I’m looking at its pathetic 1:39 running time. To me that says three things. 1 -They had to get it done fast to make it out for the holiday season. 2 – They’re pandering to kids who can’t last much longer than an hour and a half without going crazy or peeing all over themselves. 3 – there wasn’t enough material to fill the time. And that just points back to my complaint of the underdeveloped supporting cast. A character like Garrett Hedlund’s Murtagh has enough mystery about him to keep people interested, and we learn just enough about his past to know he’ll play a larger role in the future, but so what? We know nothing of his personality and have no other reason to be interested in him other than we’re supposed to be. This franchise’s best shot at a Han Solo of their own has as much charisma and presence as Jar Jar Binks.

The character Durza also remains a mystery but manages to still make his presence known. Robert Carlyle somehow makes this fruity shadow character one of the creepiest villains in months, and we know so little about his past from what’s revealed in the movie, but it doesn’t matter because he has that presence. He won’t go down as one of the great villains of all time, but in a movie full of mild disappointments, the man in the make-up was a glorious exception.

I admit that I wasn’t expecting much from Eragon. From day one it just looked like Lord of the Rings Jr., and while I’m not absolutely in love with any aspect of it, it still had its fun moments and could potentially be a building block towards something great. It doesn’t stand so well on it’s own. They ripped off just enough from Star Wars to be noticible, but not quite enough to make the movie good.

Rating: 6 out of 10 - Horrible by no means, and any movie that shows a dragon bite a man and is still kid friendly is AOK in my book.

There’s definitely some stuff worth revisiting here. A couple of fights and the ideas about magic are fresh and original enough to at least watch the movie again. What’s more, once the inevitable sequels to this movie come out, this first part will act as the groundwork for what could be something worth owning on DVD. But one kick ass battle and Eragon’s baby blues don’t make this first chapter worth owning. This could potentially be the nice start of a great series of movies, but I can tell you now – Eragon will never be in my DVD collection.

If you’re an absolute dragon freak then it might be worth it. There aren’t enough really good movies featuring dragons out there, and too often they’re treated as mindless monsters or sappy accented visionaries. This movie does a little of both but manages to look pretty decent in the process.

Featuring: Star Wars: A New Hope - Wow, this movie reeks of Star Wars. It’s not even pretending. You’ve got your young naïve farm boy destine for greatness, the wise old hermit that becomes his teacher, an emperor that controls the realm and his loyal apprentice with powers as mysterious as his past, they even go into the heart of the enemies base, in disguise, to save the beautiful damsel in distress. I could go on, but I’ll let you have your own fun picking out the similarities yourself.

While it lives up to a lot of what you’d want to take from the Star Wars franchise, it left out two very important things. It’s missing the Greek pathos of an incestuous love affair and daddy issues (which could develop in the next chapter, who knows) and they’ve got no Han Solo. How do you create an epic adventure without a studly anti-hero?

As for Saphira, the dragon’s Star Wars counterpart… She’s either the light saber or Chewbacca. I can’t tell.

Featuring: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - I was a kid when the first Ninja Turtles live action movie came out and when the cartoon, video games and action figures were at their peek. By the time the second movie came out I was old enough to hate it, and know that it was just disrespectful to the gritty and dark source material. The turtles first appeared as a comic book by Eastman and Laird, and somewhere between their dark vision and the campy morons on screen, something terrible went wrong.

Looking back, I can still watch the first movie with some love and respect for what it meant to me at the time. Irv loves the movie to death and could actually recite it verbatim if you asked him. If you ever see him at a comic con, make him do it. It’s hysterical. Then ask him to sing the full theme to the Care Bears. The man is a wealth of useless pop culture information.

I feel kind of bad but I’m not really that jazzed about the new animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Something feels off. I like the design of the Turtles themselves and it seems to be a balance between the dark comics and kid’s cartoon, but something feels wrong. There’s apparently some sort of monster attack, and that’s ok I guess. I think I wish it could be simpler. Turtles vs. Shredder and an endless army of the foot clan. Why make it complicated by introducing more villains. Save it for the all-new TMNT cartoon show that will undoubtedly spin out of this and suck hard. At least on TV it will be easier to avoid some great characters being ruined.

Of course the movie could be incredible and I hope it is. Make me eat my words, childhood icons!

I want to say a quick word of thanks to everyone that’s been sending in notes of support after my rant the other day. It even got picked up at Comixpedia to which I joked - hitting the 200 comic mark is no big deal, but an emotional breakdown is front-page news!? I’m just kidding, Xaviar Xerexes and Comixpedia have been nothing but awesome to me. All of you guys have been, and I sincerely do appreciate that. I promise that I’ll make comics as long as I possibly can and that I will only stop when my jerk kid tears the pencil from my hand and makes me watch him dive into the pool. Again. “Daddy can see you… hurry up!”

So how are you guys feeling about the Joe and Monkey arc? I’m about halfway through and the story is where I want it to be. Coming up next week, PEPSI will come to collect what was sold to them, and Joe drinks more soda!

That’s it for now, but I’ll have another strip up this weekend.

Live Journal/Myspace/Rotten Tomatoes/Buzz Comix/Top Web Comics/Comics on the Ipod/The Webcomics List/Online Comics/Comixpedia/JLCM Map!

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Joe – The creator of the strip who has embraced giving crappy movies the chance they deserve. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.

First Appearance - The Introduction

Yeo – Yeo is Joe’s wife and often the voice of reason in the strip. Having her act rational allows the rest of the cast to embrace being in a comic strip which primarily involves randomly punching people, interacting with fictional characters and talking about boobs. Yeo is smart, beautiful and way too good for Joe. Don’t tip her off.

First Appearance - Fever Pitch

Irv – Joe’s movie-going sidekick who’s always down for watching Jason Statham crescent moon kick some thug through a plate glass window and getting some drinks before after and during a Vin Diesel movie. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.

First Appearance - Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior

Agent 337 George Jones – A government Agent that took over for Joe after he was bad-mouthing President Bush in the V for Vendetta strip. George ran the show for over a month bring a much needed sense of patriotism and justice to both the strips and reviews. He eventually got too attached to his work, empathizing with Joe’s plight to give crappy movies a fair shake. In a way he came to love crappy movies as well and was pushed out of the position. He spiraled out of control and ended up in prison. His adventures will be told in the limited series JLCM Presents: 337 Locked Up which is set to début Christmas of 09.

First Appearance - V for Vendetta

Other Notable Appearances: Stay Alive, Ice age 2, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Slither, Here Comes Guest week, Let’s Go To Prison

Leonidas – The former king of Sparta who has traveled into the future and is having trouble coping with the modern times. Yelling loudly and kicking people into giant holes doesn’t really work the same way it did in the olden days. As time as gone by he’s adjusted but it’s a safe bet that he’s always one bad message away from throwing a spear through someone.

First Appearance - 300

Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Strip# 300, The Golden Compass, Rambo, Untraceable, The Ladies of Max Paybe

Palpatine – Former Senator, Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sith Lord... He shows up in the Joe Loves Crappy movies galaxy on occasion to let people know that they’re being stupid. No one’s really sure how he shows up in this universe but chances are it breaks all kinds of copywrite laws.

First Appearance - Episode III: The Dark Side

Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Night Watch, Saw 3, Are We Done Yet

Slow Billy – Billy is a sweet kid but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you’re watching him for the day be prepared to explain to him the plot of the movie or how popcorn works or, not so much where babies come from, but what babies are. He’s a complete moron.

First Appearance - Four Brothers

Other Notable Appearances: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, Vantage Point, Journey to the Center of the Earth

Kyle the Movie Snob – Be careful what fun facts about movies you tell your friends at a friendly gathering or in line for the latest blockbuster, because if you’re even slightly wrong, Kyle will be more than happy to let you know. He usually gets what’s coming to him though. Poor guy has cracked three ribs since joining the JLCM cast.

First Appearance - Ultraviolet

Other Notable Appearances: 16 Blocks, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers, Journey to the Center of the Earth

Jean-Luc Picard – Another lawsuit waiting to happen is Jean Luc Picard who, towards the end of the strip’s first year, became the go-to background character. If there was ever a seat to fill or a random person to place wandering around in the background, nine times out of ten it was Picard. While Picard has crossed paths with Irv he and Joe have never met. Perhaps they will some day but for now just can an eye on the background.

First Appearance - The Producers

Other Notable Appearances: I’m not telling you, that’s no fun. It’ like Where’s Waldo – go find him!

Ice Cream Sandwich – Delicious and… deadly? Usually when you see someone eating an Ice Cream sandwich, someone else is experiencing a substantial amount of pain. Still, how nice is an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day?

First Appearance - Saw IV

Other Notable Appearances: Bee Movie, Run Fatboy Run, Saw V

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pimptour
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